how to stop the browser from hogging all your system resources

Microsoft Edge is a very complete and very popular browser. That said, it can consume too many resources. How to limit the damage.

Microsoft Edge has earned its place among the most respected browsers, it is a perfectly acceptable default setting for most Windows users. But it’s not perfect. If Microsoft Edge is slowing down your machine, there are a few tricks you should try before switching to another browser. Here are a few.

Enable efficiency mode

Designed specifically for those using Edge on a laptop, Efficiency Mode reduces browser resource consumption and helps preserve your machine’s battery life. This change puts inactive tabs to sleep and reduces Edge’s overall resource footprint.

To enable it, open Microsoft Edge and click on the three small dots in the upper right corner. Select Performance, then enable Efficiency Mode.

Disable Boot Enhancement

Startup Improvement allows Microsoft Edge to start a service in the background that helps the browser start up faster. When Edge is open, Startup Improvement has little or no impact on resource usage. However, when Edge is not open, the service may use resources in the background.

If you are bored with this usage, click on the three small dots in the upper right corner of the browser and then select Settings. Click System and Performance in the left panel, then disable Startup Improvement.

Disable background extensions and Edge apps

When you close Edge, the browser allows extensions and other Edge apps to run in the background. This is useful if you have installed apps like Microsoft Teams because these can work independently of the browser.

However, if this activity affects your system performance, you can try disabling the feature. This option is in the System and Performance section of Edge’s settings. Disable “continue driving extensions and background apps when Microsoft Edge is closed”.

Optimize the “new tab” page.

By default, Edge’s New Tab page looks like nothing, or almost nothing, with lots of news, ads, and promotional links. All of these can reduce Edge’s performance.

Open a new tab in Microsoft Edge and click the gear in the top right corner of the page. Use the following settings:

  • Layout: Minimalistic
  • Quick Links: Disabled
  • Show Greeting: Disabled
  • Office Sidebar: Disabled
  • Show Promoted Links: Off
  • Context: Disabled
  • Content: Content disabled

These settings should greatly clean up the appearance of the “new tab” page. Last step, click on the icon with the three small dots under the search and select “Hide recent Bing searches”.

Update Windows and Microsoft Edge

If none of these solutions solve your performance issues, it’s time to update your computer and Microsoft Edge, as Microsoft includes bug fixes and other stability fixes with each of its updates. Make sure to restart your machine after installing updates.

The last thing to look at is malware. You should have a good anti-malware installed, like MalwareBytes, to scan your computer. These days, crypto miner malware is smart enough to slow down your machine and disable itself as soon as you open the Windows Task Manager. A quick scan should identify its presence and remove it.

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